Movies of the week: Rise of the Guardians and Life of Pi

This week at the movies, a common theme connects the two films I hope to see: visually stunning. One film is an animated action-adventure fantasy and the other is a live-action fantasy drama but they tempt with promises of 3D splendor during the holiday setting.

The highly anticipated “Rise of the Guardians” feature the voices of Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine and Jude Law. Hoping to capture the “epic team-up” sensation previously established in “Marvel’s: The Avengers,” the film centers on the mythical figures Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman and Jack Frost and their pledge to defend the hopes and dreams of all of the world’s children from the fiendish Boogeyman. 

What am I expecting to see?: This is clearly something original since I have never seen any of these well-known characters depicted like this before. The animation is gorgeous, the story features a lot of excitement and witty charm and since this year is loaded with amazing animated motion pictures that look to vie for the Best Animated Film Oscar, I see no reason as to why this will not get significant consideration. From first glance this looks like a movie that will draw audiences of all ages and it looks like a fun time to be had this holiday season.

The other movie I’m hoping to see is Ang Lee’s adaptation of “Life of Pi.” Based on the novel by Yann Martel, “Life of Pi” is a story about survival for a teenage boy named Pi, who spends months at see after surviving a tragic shipwreck that claims the lives of his entire family. Pi must learn to survive with the only other surviving castaway, a Bengal tiger, as they drift aimlessly through the Pacific Ocean.

What am I looking forward to see?: Anyone can tell from this trailer that it is visually stunning and has to be seen in 3D. If that sounds familiar, it should because that was the initial premise for “Avatar” and look at how well that film did. There may not be any Hollywood stars in this movie but there doesn’t have to be; “Slumdog Millionaire” took the world by storm without a single recognizable Hollywood face when it was released, and last year’s winner for Best Picture “The Artist” had two lead actors who were probably unknowns to everyone and they earned Oscar attention as well. I’m not saying “Life of Pi” will be as good as “Avatar” or “Slumdog Millionaire” or “The Artist” but it is certainly taking cues from many great films. I’m looking forward to be surprised and impressed.

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